Clint McKay, who will turn out for Mumbai Indians in IPL 2012, produced career-best performances with bat and ball to lead Australia to a 2-1 win in the CB Series finals. The hosts, benefitting from McKay’s display, went on to beat Sri Lanka by 16 runs in the last of three finals played at the Adelaide Oval.
Australia, who were put in to bat by Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene, started well with Delhi Daredevils’ opener David Warner hitting a brisk 45-ball 48. However, paceman Farveez Maharoof and spinner Rangana Herath brought Sri Lanka right back into the contest, the duo picking up six wickets between them for just 76 runs in 20 overs. Batting at No. 9, McKay bettered his previous best ODI score of 25 by three runs to push Australia’s score to a fighting 231 all out in 50 overs.
Kolkata Knight Riders’ Brett Lee, whose 54-ball 32 at No. 8 also played a big part in boosting the hosts’ total, put the visitors on the defensive with the early wickets of Tillakaratne Dilshan (8) and Kumar Sangakkara (19). McKay followed Lee and ripped through the Lankan order to finish with career-best ODI bowling figures of five for 28; McKay’s previous best ODI bowling display was five for 33. Lee eventually finished with three for 59 from his eight overs while Australia stand-in captain and Rajasthan Royals all-rounder, Shane Watson, chipped in with figures of two for 13 from seven overs. Sri Lanka, rattled by the opposition’s star performers, were bowled out for 215 in 48.5 overs.
While McKay was given the Man-of-the-Match award, Royal Challengers Bangalore’s Tillakaratne Dilshan, who finished as the leading run-getter of the competition with 513 runs from 11 innings, was given the Man-of-the-Series award.
Brief scores: Australia 231/10 in 49.3 overs (Matthew Wade 49, David Warner 48, Rangana Herath 3/36) beat Sri Lanka 215/10 in 48.5 overs (Upul Tharanga 71, Clint McKay 5/28, Brett Lee 3/59) by 16 runs